Friday, July 08, 2011

Last Space Shuttle Flight Ready

Weather Only Factor In Florida Liftoff

The STS-135 astronauts were climbing aboard space shuttle Atlantis in preparation for a liftoff at 11:26 a.m. EDT. The boarding process takes a little more than an hour and the hatch will be closed for flight at about 9:21 a.m.

Launch Director Mike Leinbach completed a weather briefing with Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters, Ascent Flight Director Richard Jones and the Spaceflight Meteorology group in Mission Control in Houston. While weather remains dynamic, Leinbach told the launch team, "We do have a shot at this today."

Teams are not working any issues that would delay the launch of Atlantis on
mission STS-135, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The shuttle flight ends NASA's 30-year manned low orbit program and the end of the line for thousands of workers in the Space Coast area of eastern Florida. The first shuttle flight was in 1981.

Photo: Commander Chris Ferguson straps in to space shuttle Atlantis astronauts at Launch Pad 39A (courtesy NASA)

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